The Artsy Guide to Zona MACO

The self-proclaimed “art fair of Mexico,” Zona MACO Mexico Arte Contemporaneo returns this February for its 11th edition. Attracting collectors, artists, curators, and the general public, Zona Maco had 40,000 visitors last year, and hopes to top its numbers this year with 115 galleries from 21 countries, four curated sections, cultural events across the city and above all, its international showcase of the contemporary art world.

1. When? Where? How?

Zona MACO will take place February 5th to 9th at Mexico City’s Centro Banamex (Conscripto 311, Lomas de Sotelo, Miguel Hidalgo). Tickets can be purchased online through Ticketmaster, here.

2. Why visit?

With its tagline “the most important contemporary art window into Latin America,” Zona MACO is a must-visit destination for contemporary Latin American art, as well as a global presentation of the current art world. This year in the fair’s main section visitors encounter top international galleries selected by José García (Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City), Patricia Ortiz Monasterio (Galeria OMR, Mexico City), and Ben Loveless (Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin/Stockholm). Find galleries in the main section, here.

3. New Proposals

The New Proposals section is curated by Mirjam Varadinis (curator at the Kunsthaus Zurich), and will offer a presentation of solo projects by artists under the age of 35, from 19 international galleries. In this year’s selection, priority was given to artists living and working in Latin America, or whose work is inspired by the region.

4. Zona MACO Sur

Zona MACO Sur consists of 21 solo artist presentations and is curated by Juan A. Gaitán, who is also curator of the upcoming 2014 Berlin Biennale. Now in its the sixth year, this section focuses on art that considers the relationship between the individual and a global audience, multiple “ways of being and of seeing,” and relevant social and political issues.

5. Modern Art

Now in its second year the Modern Art section focuses on international art created during the first half of the 20th century, with the purpose of providing context and reflection when considering contemporary art. Montserrat Albores Gleason, co-founder of independent curatorial and research project curator PETRA, curates this section.

6. Design

Zona MACO’s Design section, now in its third year, presents design studios and galleries with the aim to foster communication and collaboration between artists, designers, and galleries. Designers included in the section produce limited editions objects, exclusively for the fair. This year the section is curated by Cecilia León de la Barra, an industrial designer and independent curator.

7. Awards Courtesy of Tequila 1800 and Purificación García

Tequila 1800—a brand owned by Casa Cuervo, which has been involved with Zona MACO for 10 years—presents Colección 1800awards to recognize emerging and mid-career artists represented at the fair. Last year’s winners were Marie Lund, Agustín González, Manuel Rocha, and Runo Lagomarsino.

Renowned Spanish clothing brand Purificación García established its Latin American Photography Acquisition Award in 2011, to support Latin American photographers, while building its own collection. The award, open to all Latin American photographers, was presented to Brazilian artist Montez Magno and Mexican duo Lake Verea last year.

8. 89plus Americas Marathon: Autoconstrucción

Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Simon Castets, and inspired by Serpentine Gallery’s annual Marathon series, Mexico City’s Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo hosts the 89plus Americas Marathon, in tandem with Zona MACO, on Feb. 8th from 10am to 10pm. The Marathon is a dynamic conference that brings together young practitioners from a range of disciplines born during our after 1989, with renowned artists and thinkers, to engage in discussions of technology, globalization, and collectivity. Included in the series is artist Amalia Ulman.

9. The “Less than $2,500” Program

Established in 2012 to attract new collectors, Zona MACO’s “Less than $2,500” program ensures there is affordable and accessible art at the fair. An extension of the fair’s mission to stimulate collecting in Mexico, the program facilitates the process for new collectors by gathering art priced below below $30,000 MXN ($2,500 US), created by an international selection of young artists, in one space. The fair hopes to encourage the attitude “collecting is not a luxury, but a way of life.”

10. Zona MACO Gives Back

Each year Zona MACO makes an effort to support and engage nonprofits and foundations doing social work with an interest in the promotion of art. The organizations are invited to participate in the fair, give presentations, and host activities. This year’s organizations include Mexico Vivo, SOMA, FONCA-CONACULTA, Aprendiendo a través del arte (Learning Through Art), and Inclúyeme (Include me).

Explore Zona MACO on Artsy.